As Kansans prepared for Christmas travel, the average retail gasoline prices in Kansas have fallen 0.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.96 per gallon over the weekend, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,329 gas outlets in Kansas. This compares with the national average that has fallen 2.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.21.
Including the change in gas prices in Kansas during the past week, prices yesterday were 12.3 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 3.5 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 0.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 3.8 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
The lowest prices in the state were reported in Topeka at $2.72. The highest was $3.49 just off of I-70 at Hays.
Locally, prices in Great Bend hovered around $2.89. Other area prices were: $2.95 at Larned and Russell, $2.99 at Ellsworth and $2.89 at Lyons.
“Another downward trend in gasoline prices has emerged as motorists hit the roads in the last full week before Christmas,” said GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan. “Historically, this is about the time of year that gasoline prices hit their yearly lows, but this time around, I have more optimism that prices may move even lower in the next few weeks.”
As DeHaan and Gasbuddy finish their 2014 forecast in the near future, “we can say that 2014 does offer some relief compared to what we’ll end up seeing in terms of average in 2013, but for the time being, the next week looks to see a continued drop in gasoline prices.”
Nationally, according to the American Automobile Association, after increasing for 15 consecutive days Nov. 12-27, the national average has fallen for 16 of 19 days but remains a nickel above the low for the year, which was $3.18 on November 12. National pump prices registered a 2012 low of $3.22 on Dec. 20, while the price during the second half of 2011 bottomed at $3.21 on Dec. 21.
The resolution of production concerns at the Gulf Coast and limited seasonal demand have both contributed to the falling national average, the AAA reported. Recent snowstorms in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast also would be expected to further sap demand as motorists stay off the roads.
However, many of these states experiencing winter weather also are among the 14 where prices are higher today than one week ago, with wholesale gasoline prices in New York Harbor remaining the highest in the nation. Consumers in these states could enjoy some price relief in the days leading up to Christmas as cheaper product makes its way to the region from the Gulf Coast via barge and pipeline.
Prices in 36 states and Washington, D.C. are already trending lower, including 10 states where retail prices have dropped by a nickel or more over the last week.
While motorists in the majority of states continue to enjoy prices that are cheaper than one year ago approaching the holidays – including savings of at least a dime per gallon in 14 states led by more than 20-cent discounts in Nebraska (-20 cents), Montana (-22 cents) and Utah (-26 cents) – there are 10 states and Washington, D.C. where today’s price at the pump is higher than the same date in 2012.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil begins a ninth consecutive week below $100 per barrel. WTI prices did make a run back toward the triple-digit threshold early last week; however they lost some momentum and finished down slightly with limited factors seen supporting higher prices.